‘That’s a way of neutering Congress, of making sure that Congress can’t do its job, of turning the country into a dictatorship of a monarchical president…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, said that although Democratic leadership doesn’t want to pursue impeachment, President Donald Trump is “making it increasingly difficult” not to do so.
“No questions are being answered about any subject,” Nadler said. “And then, when subpoenas are being issued, there’s a blanket command: ‘disobey all subpoenas. Nobody should testify, and nobody should give documents to Congress.’”
House Democrats, including Nadler and Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff had declared even before the release of the Mueller Report that they would investigate regardless of its findings.
Several committee chairs, including Nadler, have been criticized for attempting to violate protocol by issuing subpoenas that are not germane to the legislative functions of Congress.
Nadler said Trump was being authoritarian by refusing to do Democrats’ bidding in their pursuit of partisan investigations to undermine his presidency.
“Well, that’s a way of neutering Congress, of making sure that Congress can’t do its job, of turning the country into a dictatorship of a monarchical president,” he whined. “You can’t function if you don’t have information.”
Impeachment is “probably not” on the table, since most Democratic leaders believe it would be too divisive and ultimately unsuccessful, Nadler said.
Pelosi has said trying to kick Trump out of office would be a “gift” to him at this point. Trump would be able to campaign on the partisan effort much like Bill Clinton used impeachment proceedings to his advantage in 1998.
But if the Trump administration continued to refuse to yield to Congress, Democrats could reach a breaking point, Nadler threatened.
“I think he is very impulsive, he’s very willful, and he’s very ignorant,” Nadler said.
“I mean, unlike Richard Nixon, who knew exactly what he was doing when he was violating the law and violating norms and so forth, he just goes ahead,” Nadler continued. “He doesn’t know what the law is. He doesn’t know what the constitutional history is. He doesn’t know the implications of half of what he does.”
Nadler said he agrees with Pelosi to a certain extent, but added that Trump’s presidency is a “constitutional crisis” that must be addressed.
“Whether the president is doing a good job in the economy or not is one question. He may be. But, if he’s destroying all the norms, and destroying all the practices, and destroying the laws, and arrogating all power to the presidency so that the people through Congress have nothing to say, that’s a very different crisis,” Nadler said.
Nadler claimed that Trump has undoubtedly “committed crimes while in office,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the House will be able to impeach him.
Trump can only be impeached for the “misuse of presidential power while president or for cheating in the election that gave him the presidency,” Nadler said, adding that he was using his committee to look for evidence of those two things.
The American people will understand the depth of the crisis if the Democrats continue to investigate and expose the Trump administration, Nadler insisted.
“I mean, we have to hold hearings, and we have to get people to testify. And not just on the collusion with the Russians and obstruction of justice, but in all kinds of issues where they’re refusing. The president goes out and lies, he says “I’m for health care.” And he’s trying to eliminate it in court. We have to get information on that so we can act, if necessary,” he said.
“Beyond all that is the basic question: They’re trying to say that Congress, representing the American people, can’t get information, and therefore, can’t function,” Nadler continued. “The effect of that is to make the president a monarch, to make him a dictator. And that’s what we’ve got to fight.”